Direct payments to all New Zealanders could be made to help the economy recover from the fallout of Covid-19, the Finance Minister says.
Grant Robertson told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning that the Government had to examine all options to help this country get back on its feet.
However, he ruled out tax cuts coming this year.
"Not in this Budget, Mike," Robertson said.
Asked by Hosking about just handing out cash to every Kiwi, Robertson likened it to tax cuts but said the Government did have to look at all options.
"So things like helicopter money, as it's sometimes called, is part of a potential package, but it does have downsides as well because it's not particularly targeted," Robertson said.
As for the budget, to be announced on May 14, he said there would be skepticism but added that the country would need longer to recover from Covid-19, the flow-on effects would be felt in 2021.
He said this year's budget was about making sure the Government built up the right levels of support for people.
There were a range of options available as they decided on ensuring there was a "strong public sector but also a strong private sector".
As for businesses not being honest about the wage subsidy scheme, Robertson said they would investigate any breaches.
"We will chase down anybody who has rorted the system. If someone hasn't done it right, it's fraud and we will chase them down."
Robertson told Kiwis to go back into banks and have another conversation about lending, have a pragmatic conversation and make use of the scheme that's there to make the most of new lending regulations from banks.
Robertson said he had some feedback from people who were seeking loans but would now expect banks to be more pragmatic now that the country was a few more weeks into the lockdown.